When looking for a credit card, one of the most important factors, if not the most important factor, is your credit score. Whenever you hear someone speaking about a person's "credit," this is what they're referring to - it is a score derived from a consumer's history of debt and purchases.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a three digit number issued by the credit bureaus to determine the credit worthiness of an individual. This is useful because the credit score provides different banks and credit card issuers with objective insight into the likelihood that a credit card holder pays back their credit card debt. Credit Unions will derive this number from your payment history, whether it be from mortgages, prepaid credit cards, or even general credit cards themselves.
Why should I worry about my credit score?
Users should worry about their credit when they are going through the credit approval process, as it is the most important determinant of whether or not they get a credit card. But your credit score doesn't stop there - it will be used by landlords when applying for an apartment, any time you're applying fror a bank loan, or even when you're applying for a mortgage. It is very important to know what your credit score is, and what determines what it will be.
How do I check my credit score?
The easiest way to check your credit score is to work with a credit union, like Equifax, to process your credit score. These credit unions are objective third parties who monitor the balances of your bank account, your outstanding debt, and a variety of other factors in order to help the credit card issuers in their credit approval process. If you haven't yet, visit one of these websites right now and apply to find out your credit score for free.
What determines my credit score?
Your credit score is a combination of your outstanding loans, the credit cards you're currently using, what type of credit card it is, as well as any histories of bankruptcy or other financial hiccups you may have had. We'd recommend having a good idea of your credit score before applying for a credit card, as applying for a card that has credit score requirements that are too high can actually hurt your score.